Cool chalk art

I love videos of artists creating. This one uses chalk, which I’d never really thought of outside a school setting, but I kinda like it. I think it’s cool that it can so easily be smudged or erased with a little water. Makes it feel kind of fragile.

When you run out of time or money, ship

I often think about what Seth Godin says here.

“The guys at 37Signals write in almost everything they talk that there are two secrets — actually one — to shipping something on time and on budget. And the secret is: When you run out of money or you run out of time, you ship. Then you’re on time and on budget. If your mindset is that I ship, that’s not just a convenient shortcut, it’s in fact an obligation. And you build your work around that obligation. Then instead of someone who’s a wandering generality, someone who has lots of great and ideas and if only, if only, if only, you were someone who always ends up shipping. … And if you’re proud of what you ship, and you do it on time and on budget, you get to do it again.”

Is it better to ship a product on time and on budget, but only 85% of what you’d initially planned for – or ship a week late, and/or x% over budget, but 95 or 100% of what you’d initially planned for?

Obviously, it depends on the product, but it’s interesting that it feels so much more likely that a project gets delayed to take a final stab at getting to 100% of the initial intent, rather than finishing on time and on budget, but not quite getting everything in.

I forget where I read this (probably *Joel on Software), but *someone said when he lays out a new product, he makes three lists. The features he absolutely must have included, the products that’d be nice to have in but aren’t absolutely required, and the features that’d be cool to explore, but only if time allows. Then you build out List 1, then List 2, and lastly List 3, as time permits. That makes total sense. Then, if you only get to 85%, you at least haven’t wasted time on features from the “nice to have” or “cool to explore” lists.


In other news:

“If you’re already in a mess, you ain’t got room to make one”

This video in general is great, but one part in particular really struck a chord (around the 10:40 mark).

My most productive times are when I have the freedom to make a creative mess. You too. I need room to be crazy. To make some mistakes. To brainstorm. To be chaotic, go a little off the edge. That is gonna be your most productive time… when you have the freedom to do that. However, folks, if you’re already in a mess, you ain’t got room to make one. If your kitchen’s a mess, you ain’t got time or energy to have a creative dinner for your friends. If your desk and your office are a mess you don’t have room and space to go crazy about some new project and spread out and have a brainstorm of ideas. If your email is backed up on you with a thousand unprocessed emails and you got three thousand other things going on in your head, you have no space to take advantage of discretionary time that may show up in terms of being creative.

I was really into GTD years ago, but I didn’t realize how many of its principles stuck with me until re-watching and -reading some of this stuff. I’m such a Next Action guy at work now.

“Your body language shapes who you are”

Very interesting Ted Talk about body language. Most interesting part is how getting into “high power poses” for just 2 minutes actually raises your testosterone and decreases coritsol levels, while getting into “low power poses” for just two minutes lowers your testosterone and increases your cortisol (in the video, this segment begins around 10 mins, 30 secs).

New project inspiration

This is one of my favorite Merlin talks. Whenever I start thinking about trying to create something new from scratch (as I have been lately), I start reading a lot of Seth Godin stuff — mostly on the Resistance — and I’ll usually rewatch this talk.

I find the first 20 minutes inspiring. Maybe because even I remember a lot of what he talks about (ie creating an analog clock in Javascript *shudders*). Merlin hitting home how incredibly accessible all these amazing tools to do cool stuff are now is really motivating. Now the tools are just waiting for people to make stuff with them.


Importance of Statistics and Data Analysis in the Future

“I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians. And I’m not kidding.”
Hal Varian, chief economist at Google

Also, this TED Talk from Arthur Benjamin makes a ton of sense.